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Ontario Loan Rehab Program

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    Posted: 23/February/2017 at 12:52pm
Hi everyone,

Has anyone done the OSAP rehab program from this site? https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/A-ZListofAid/PRDR015096.html

I just got a new job that's letting me make enough to live and pay back some debt and I really want to clear up my student loan.  I never got to graduate school due to some personal and family issues and just finally found a job that's more than minimum wage.  Anyways, I'm happy to be on my feet and want to take care of my obligations.

A couple of weeks ago I called NSLSC and they gave me a number for CRA to make arrangements for the federal part.  I called them up, we set a monthly payment date, and all is well.  Once I get the interest and a couple of payments in, they'll send back to the NSLSC.  This feels great.

Now I want to get the Ontario part fixed but before I begin I want to know the best way to proceed.  I am really worried about this further hurting my credit and trying to decide if I should save up the amount owing over a few months and find a way to send it directly to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, or if I should take advantage of this rehab program.  The rehab program would let me get started right away so I'm hoping for that, but I don't want the collection agency to take the rehab payments and use them to extend the life of the collection listing on my credit report.  I guess you have to apply through the collection agency and send 6 payments right to them?

Anyway, I emailed the collection agency to ask what would happen and they refused to help unless I call in and give a bunch of personal info.  Then I emailed the MAESD, who told me to contact the NSLSC.  I just called NSLSC and they said that they don't even get Ontario loans back after rehab and sounded like they had no idea what I was talking about??  Even though the website above clearly says they do go back to NSLSC.  NSLSC told me to call provincial collections, who I can't get past hold with on my breaks at work, and is closed when I'm off work.  I feel like I'm getting the runaround here and I'm frustrated that 3 agencies that deal with this all the time can't answer my question.

I'm scared of calling up the agency without all the information after reading all the horror stories everywhere.  I feel like they won't be helpful for the rehab program anyway since it doesn't give them any commission.

I know that the credit report is secondary and that I need to rehab or pay it anyway, but if there's a way I can satisfy the loan as well as prevent more damage to my credit profile, that'd be the best.

Has anyone gone through it that can tell me how it went?  Do you know what happened on your credit report?

You're all so great for your input on the site, it really helps you to not feel alone.  Thank you so much.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/February/2017 at 1:23pm
Sounds like you might need help from your local provincial member of parliament or your federal to help you deal with the bureaucracy....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jjunket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/February/2017 at 7:27am
Hi admin,

Thanks for the reply, this bureaucracy is horrible.  I sent an email to NSLSC yesterday to follow up on my call, hoping I'd get someone more knowledgeable.  They sent back a response telling me they couldn't discuss specific loan details over email, even though I was not trying to discuss a particular loan.  I've emailed them again pointing this out - maybe they will come back with something decent.  At this point, I'm losing hope.

I guess the rehab program isn't that popular if none of these government agencies seem to know anything about it.

In the meantime, if anyone has any first-hand experience with the program and is willing to share, I would really appreciate it.

JJ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/February/2017 at 6:43pm
The rehab program is popular and many people here have posted about it.....  you are experiencing a bureaucratic nightmare.  That is why I suggest you talk to your MP.  They can sometimes act on your behalf to get you in touch with the right people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Royal-NCO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/February/2017 at 5:50am
jjunket, 

You PM'd me on another forum.  We talked about this a couple of weeks ago.  I'll answer you here instead of replying to your other PM.

Based on your explanation, it sounds to me like you have yet to actually pick up the phone and call the collection agency that is dealing with your Ontario loan.  You MUST do this.  There is no other way around it.  You have to call them, give them your information, and then allow them to submit the application for approval from the ministry.

Whether or not it is a good idea to let your tax refunds cover the loans over a period of a few years because you want to avoid the potential damage to your credit report, is really debatable.  There is a chance that the collection/trade will age off, and this will go unnoticed by them for a number of years while you clear the debt, however as we discussed, because this debt has no statute of limitation, nothing stops them from reviving it on your credit report. 

Johnny and I have debated this before on Canadastudentdebt, but OP, I showed you the legislation that allows them to revive an old collection on a debt that has no statute of limitation.  This specifically applies to Equifax because they base the 6 year limit on date of last activity, contrasted with Transunion who bases it on date of first delinquency. 

If you have the means to do so, and there are no other extenuating circumstances ( errors by them, for example.), you really are best off to rehabilitate the loan.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/March/2017 at 1:16pm
Loans taken out before April 1, 2004 may be statute barred under the old limitation act providing nothing has been done that would interrupt the limitation period running. If a debt is not legally recoverable then it is not permitted to be reported on any credit bureau report. 

Ontario loans taken out after April 1, 2004 will show on a credit history until they are paid and the timeline in which the report must purge thereafter. 

If there are no limitations that are binding, then that debt can be reported indefinitely as long as it is outstanding, as Royal NCO says. 

So, if the loan originated before April 1 2004, and no activity on your part was actioned to disrupt the limitation period running on it, then limitations are likely there and should be called out first Unless this is not an issue for you and you want to acknowledge and renew the loan.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Royal-NCO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/March/2017 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by Johnny Johnny wrote:

Loans taken out before April 1, 2004 may be statute barred under the old limitation act providing nothing has been done that would interrupt the limitation period running. If a debt is not legally recoverable then it is not permitted to be reported on any credit bureau report. 

Ontario loans taken out after April 1, 2004 will show on a credit history until they are paid and the timeline in which the report must purge thereafter. 

If there are no limitations that are binding, then that debt can be reported indefinitely as long as it is outstanding, as Royal NCO says. 

So, if the loan originated before April 1 2004, and no activity on your part was actioned to disrupt the limitation period running on it, then limitations are likely there and should be called out first Unless this is not an issue for you and you want to acknowledge and renew the loan.  



Unfortunately, the OP does not fall into the pre-2004 category.  However, this is information I have from him that he posted on another forum, so I'll wait for the OP to return and comment on this, as its not appropriate for me to directly link an external source without his permission.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/March/2017 at 10:19pm
Ontario gov has the wool pulled over a lot of eyes.  

You should see the case I am working that involves CIBC douchbaggery in the US right now.  It amazes me how far CIBC collection management will go, and how much money they will spend to do the stupidest things. This case is going to open a can of WA on them. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jjunket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/March/2017 at 8:18am
Hi Royal,

Thanks for the reply, it was my better half you were speaking with a couple weeks back - we've both been reaching out and trying to tackle this together, trying to put together as much info as we can before we start dealing with the agency.

You're right, I haven't phoned the collection agency yet.  I have emailed them, but they refused to communicate unless I called in (which makes sense from their standpoint, since they'll want to collect from me).  I was just hoping there might be someone out there who is on the other side of the Ontario rehab program, that might be willing to share how their credit report looks now.

It sounds like your experience was a little bit different since the mark had already aged off your report, so you were able to settle up in full without them potentially updating the Last Activity date.

I saw a thread here where the poster had suggested he was able to send a lump sum in to the ministry directly, effectively bypassing the collection agency altogether.  I'm wondering if this is a better approach - as you said, it's debatable, and luck of the draw whether or not the collection item slips through and ages off on its own.  Plus, I can't seem to figure out how someone would actually go about doing this, since no one but the collection agency really seems to be able to accept any money.  My preference would be to rehab and begin payments immediately since it will take me some time to save up for a lump sum and I want to resolve this sooner than later.

I also saw a thread where you stated that the collection item is supposed to be removed after the rehab is completed, with a clean tradeline added.  Do you mind sharing the source of this info?

I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and call in.  I understand I don't have the moral high ground here, being that I allowed the loan to default in the first place.  However, now that I'm able, I want to get this sorted, and I really do think it's ridiculous that multiple government agencies can't be bothered to help out when at the end of the day what I'm trying to accomplish is to repay them.

You'll have to forgive me if I sound like I'm beating a dead horse - I just don't really trust the collection agency to give me accurate or truthful information.

The credit reporting is of course secondary to the resolution - but it would be stupid of me to not look for a way to act to satisfy both interests.

---

To Johnny - thank you for the reply - these loans would be from after that time period and so I doubt a limitation issue applies.  I'm more so interested in resolving them by repayment - I'm just looking to do so in a way that minimizes further credit damage.  Though, as I continue to research, that's looking like it may not be possible.

---

I'll likely reach out to the agency this week, hopefully they can provide some answers.  I will update here with any new info for the benefit of others visiting the site.

I'd just like to say again that I appreciate this community - Admin, Royal, Johnny - the insight and advice you provide here is very helpful and I'm sure it relieves a lot of stress for lots of people.

JJ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/March/2017 at 1:32pm
How long has the loan been in default for, and how much is it that you owe? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Royal-NCO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/March/2017 at 3:05pm
JJ,  I guess I need to level about something.  Studentmess and Royal-nco, ME, are the same person.  I was having issues with the password recovery which wasn't working, so a few years ago, I opened a new profile.  Then the password recovery started working, so I return to my original profile, Royal-NCO.  

Please, forgive the double profile, Administrator.  I hope this won't get me banned.

So, everything you're quoting JJ, is from my own experience.

If you read the experience of studentmess carefully, you'll realize that I am basically just expressing my frustration out loud.  I did in the end receive an offer to rehabilitate the loan, however I chose instead to pay in full.  In my frustration, at the time, I expressed that I would never pay the collection agency, but in the end I was forced to and everything worked out ok.  I received a letter of clearance stating the provincial loan had been repaid in full.

Because of my past issues, with their mistakes dealing with my loan,  I directly challenged both the collection agency and a lady I spoke with directly at the ministry.  I informed them that I had made such a great effort to rebuild my credit that if they DARED to put a new collection on my report, I would outright refuse to pay anything ever, and they would have to take me to court.  In fact, at the time I was so frustrated that I was actually wanting them to take me to court.  I was begging them to so I could challenge their behaviour with me and express my issues with the mistakes that had been made.  I planned to counter sue for damages.

Anyhow, I calmed down, came to my senses, and decided to simply settle the loan so I could move on with my life.  When I spoke to the lady directly at the ministry, she informed me that they would not put a new collection on my report if I paid in full or rehabilitated.  She also told me that the loan would be sent back to the NSLSC after rehabilitation and a brand new trade would be opened showing only the new new payment record.  HOWEVER, there is some uncertainty about what happens with an old collection.  It is SUPPOSED to be removed once rehabilitation has been completed.

I'll see if I can find the direct number at the ministry.  Perhaps, Johnny has its. Its neither NSLSC or Collection agency.  It was a direct number to the ministry.  However, you still need to call the collection agency to initiate the process.  

Its very important to realize that the collection agency does not touch your credit report.  This is entirely handled by the ministry.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Royal-NCO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/March/2017 at 3:10pm
Actually, they have all the numbers published now.  It was a lady at the Ministry of Finance that I was speaking with.  Scroll to the bottom of this page.


If you don't have the name of the collection agency dealing with your provincial loan, you can ask at the Ministry of Finance number.  This is also a good opportunity to ensure that the collection agency contacting you is in fact dealing with your provincial loan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jjunket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/March/2017 at 6:27am
Johnny - based on my calculations the loan has been in default for just over 5 years.  Amount owning is less than $5,000, including accumulated interest.  At this point, I'm no longer being actively contacted by the collection agency - though I'm not sure if this is due to a lack of effort or them not having updated contact information, maybe both.  The only real reminder I get is an occasional letter from the CRA reminding me that they will apply any tax refunds or credits to the loan via right of set off.

Royal - thanks so much for the update - it gives a clearer picture;  I definitely understand your frustration with the system.  The Ministry number at the bottom of that page is the one I've yet to get through to, even though I've sat on hold for a couple of lunch breaks trying.  I'll give them a try again, hopefully with some luck this time.  After I get some reassurances/confirm amounts from the Ministry I'll get in touch with the collection agency to start the rehab process.  If I can't get through today at lunch I might need to take a half day off to sort all of this next week.

Thanks guys for the replies!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/March/2017 at 9:45am
Question: did you complete studies that apply to these student loans? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jjunket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/March/2017 at 1:21pm
Unfortunately not - I was a little over a semester or so from completion when I discontinued studies due to some family/personal issues.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/March/2017 at 1:26pm
Are you working and benefiting from the education (financially and professionally) that you did receive although incomplete? 
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I recently found a job in a related field, so yes, it is benefiting me now.

Don't get me wrong - I'm definitely not looking to reduce minimize my responsibility here - the loan is mine, I want to repay it - it was my poor decision to allow it to default in the first place and also my circumstances that prevented completion of my education.

I just want to make sure I'm repaying it in the smartest way.  I know it sounds trivial to be so concerned about the credit report - but a negative item sticking around for another 6 years could potentially cost me thousands of dollars of extra interest over the term of a future mortgage or other loan.

As an update - I called the provincial collections number (same as the one on the page Royal-NCO provided) again at lunch today and sat on hold until I had to go back to work.  Looks like I'll need to make arrangements to call at a different time, since the lunch hour doesn't seem to be working.  Or maybe I'll just get in touch with the collection agency directly.

As before, I will update with my experience for the benefit of others.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/March/2017 at 2:40pm
What you should do is contact the Ontario collection management unit in Toronto and open a ticket. That way they come to you. 
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Originally posted by jjunket jjunket wrote:

I recently found a job in a related field, so yes, it is benefiting me now.

Don't get me wrong - I'm definitely not looking to reduce minimize my responsibility here - the loan is mine, I want to repay it - it was my poor decision to allow it to default in the first place and also my circumstances that prevented completion of my education.

I just want to make sure I'm repaying it in the smartest way.  I know it sounds trivial to be so concerned about the credit report - but a negative item sticking around for another 6 years could potentially cost me thousands of dollars of extra interest over the term of a future mortgage or other loan.

As an update - I called the provincial collections number (same as the one on the page Royal-NCO provided) again at lunch today and sat on hold until I had to go back to work.  Looks like I'll need to make arrangements to call at a different time, since the lunch hour doesn't seem to be working.  Or maybe I'll just get in touch with the collection agency directly.

As before, I will update with my experience for the benefit of others.


I'm curious if you have an update yet regarding this or if you received any further information? I'm considering going this route as I'm in a similar situation.
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